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Lee_27's avatar

Should I back off?

Asked by Lee_27 (348points) February 16th, 2011

My husband and I have been under alot of stress with kids, working every day, money and spending time together. We have only been married a year, most weeks we only spend about 2 nights together if that, and we seem to fight most times when we are together. It seems as if we want different things when we are together, I like to be affectionate,like sex, to talk and interact, to hear nice things and he likes watching tv, piddling around the house and sleeping. Recently we got into a fight because I was upset he didnt even acknowledge it was valentines day, no happy valentines day, I love you, not even sex, he told me how ridiculous I was being and said I dont make him happy and he feels smothered, should I just back off and leave him alone? Or is backing off like giving up and saying you dont care?

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18 Answers

chyna's avatar

That’s a lot going on for being married just one year. I think the two of you need to see a marriage therapist. Don’t give up on your relationship too soon.

marinelife's avatar

It sounds like your relationship is in crisis.

You are both overwhelmed with all of your everyday tasks that your relationship has gotten lost in the shuffle.

I think you should consider marriage counseling. Lacking that, consider getting and reading (both of you) the book Getting the Love You Want. Do the exercises in the book.

If you just continue on as your are, your marriage is in deep trouble.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No, nothing ever gets solved by backing off and not talking about your concerns.

tedd's avatar

If you’re fighting, you still have passion. Try and talk to someone, or plan a mini vacation for just the two of you (even just a night out or something). The next time you start fighting, just kiss him, fight back the anger and focus it into something positive (aka intimacy). Besides angry sex is about as good as it gets.

You’re both frustrated with your lives, and sadly not seeing each other as much as you would probably like. You’re most comfortable venting to each other but the problem is you’re both at wits end. Just talk with him, hammer through it, and you guys will make it.

Lee_27's avatar

I have tried loving on him or having sex when we are fighting and he has told me to stop touching him he doesnt want to be touched. Nothing I do seems to work, he doesnt want to talk about our problems and I seem to be the priblem.

tranquilsea's avatar

The early years were tough in my marriage too. If I could go back and change anything I did it would be to initiate all the things I wanted him to do. I expected him to be a bit of a mind reader about what my needs were and I held a lot of resentment when he didn’t pull through.

If you are only spending two nights a week together then the feelings of being close will be hard to get. Try to see if you can carve out more time together. In your time with him make sure you are spending a good portion of that time talking about the positives in your relationship and the positives in him.

You may want to talk to a therapist.

tedd's avatar

I am not married so this advice comes second hand, but from two married couples that have been together for longer than I’ve been alive.

1) If you have to ask him more than twice to do something, and its not absolutely paramount….. give up on it, its not worth the fight and the anger.
2) Little things are often best left ignored or laughed at. The example this husband used was his wife couldn’t finish the dishes correctly with the dish washer. They would get into huge fights about it until both realizing…. its just the damn dishes.
3) No matter how hard it gets, keep the passion… and recognize that even anger is passion.

glenjamin's avatar

Based on what you said, I think you should both see a marriage counselor/therapist and try to work through the issues you both have. Marriage, kids and work can be very stressful, and often at the expense of romance. Being in that situation, I feel for you. You both have to be willing and able to talk through it for the marriage to work. I know you’ve got kids, so that can make things more complicated if you (both) aren’t happy in the relationship. That said, I would consider it a serious offense to forget about valentines day, but I hold myself to higher standards maybe?

Lee_27's avatar

The thing is I dont expect him to be a mind reader I am pretty good about conveying my wants or needs most of the time.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

This is just a side note but it always seems so foreign to me to go immediately to marriage counseling or thinking anger is a good thing in a relationship. Is it me or is this something normal around here (talking about US)?

flutherother's avatar

Something is clearly wrong. I don’t think it is you, I tend to think he might be worried about money or his job or losing his job. Possibly he hasn’t been feeling well. Guys are pretty proud about this sort of stuff and don’t like to admit there is a problem.

Kardamom's avatar

First, you should probably back off just a little bit for this week because it sounds like he is really pissed off for some reason. During this week, you should try to go about your business and make a call to set up an appt to see a couples counselor. This is way too early in a marriage for a husband to stop being interested in sex and to not acknowledge Valentine’s day to his wife.

Next week, remind him gently that he told you that you don’t make him happy. Then say that you too are very un-happy and you think that your marriage is in crisis. Tell him that you have, or will, be making an appt. for couples counseling and that you hope he’ll go with you. If he refuses, picks a fight or says anything mean, simply walk away, go about your business and go to stay with a friend or relative if you need to, but tell him that you will be going to the counseling alone if he won’t go.

Did you marry a man who already has kids or are the kids both of yours? How did the relationship go before you were married? Was he affectionate? Interested in sex? Celebrate Valentine’s day and other important holidays willingly and kindly?

Has he always had a problem of being nice and/or affectionate when the stresses of everyday life become too much? Or is this a more recent problem? Either way, this marriage is in trouble and counseling may be your only way to salvage it at this point.

Kardamom's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Back in the olden days, when the roles between the sexes were more clearly defined, people “learned” how to be husbands and wives from their parents and grandparents. That just isn’t the case any more. People don’t know how to be good mates. Some people get lucky and just figure it out and others don’t. The couples counselors can often ask questions that the couples themselves have never asked themselves. They can also point out flawed thinking and give he couples concrete exercises to help them live differently.

One of my good friends, who I think is exceptionally smart, when to couples counseling right after he got engaged, but before they got married. They went again when they got pregnant, but before the baby was born. They’ve gone a couple of times for “maintenance” during their marriage. Because of that, there marriage is exceptionally strong. Both of their own parents marriages had ended in divorce, so they really had no real idea of how to be good mates. In their case, the counseling wasn’t to fix something, but to learn, ahead of time how to do things right, and how to avoid the common pitfalls. Sometimes a third party is exactly what is needed to show people the light.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Kardamom I agree it’s useful for some people but to me it seems you only go to counseling if you absolutely are unable to communicate with each other without resorting to emotional or violent abuse. I will probably never use counseling (although, never say never) because I think there are little pitfalls I haven’t conceptualized and I’m all about talking it out, growing together. I find it to be a little rushy-rushy to go immediately to marriage counseling. Maybe I’m suspicious of the counselors, I’m making assumptions. They wouldn’t know me better than me, you know?

Lee_27's avatar

We have 5 kids all together, he had 2, I had 2 and we had 1 together. The totally not acknowledging a holiday like valentines day is new for him, and the anger when I get upset about it is new also, everything I do seems to piss him off. The control over and lack of intimacy has been going on for a little while.

Kardamom's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Like I said before, most people have not learned to communicate effectively. To me it doesn’t make sense, waiting for the relationship to continue on a downslide, hoping that someone’s communication skill light will finally come on by itself. It would be like getting a cut, then seeing it start to fester and then not going to a doctor who is trained to treat that particular problem.

This couple has a problem, a big one, and marriage counselors (or even couples counselors that are sometimes through a place of worship) are trained to help people learn how to communicate more effectively. Like I said, my friends went to counseling as a preventative measure, like getting a vaccination, and subsequently they have one of the strongest and happiest marriages around. Why should you have to wait you are at the point of violent and emotional abuse to tune up your marriage?

Nullo's avatar

Certainly get to the bottom of things. You might also consider de-stressing a bit.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Kardamom I suppose you shouldn’t but I hope that ‘going to see a counselor’ isn’t an incessant band-aid after that.

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